Buying a Piper aircraft marks a thrilling journey for both aviation fans and private pilots. Recognized as one of the “Big Three” in general aviation manufacturing, alongside Cessna and Beechcraft, Piper Aircraft, Inc. stands out with its rich history of over 160 certified models.

Piper aircraft prices differ widely, depending on the model and its condition. As of 2024, a new Piper Cherokee falls between $260,000 and $280,000, whereas pre-owned versions are priced from $20,000 to $22,000. High-end models, such as the 2017 M350 can cost around $1,325,000. Besides the initial investment, owners should anticipate extra yearly costs for insurance, storage, and upkeep, ranging from $750 to $5,000.

How Much Does a Piper Aircraft Cost

Quick History of Piper

In its history of nearly a century, Piper has produced 160 different certified aircraft models.

Piper Aircraft’s diverse range of airplanes caters to various types of power users, from recreational pilots to professional operators. Their product lineup includes single-engine trainers, twin-engine aircraft, and high-performance turboprops, spanning various speeds and capabilities.

Here are some of the various Piper aircraft:

  • Piper J-2 Cub
  • Piper J-3 Cub
  • Piper J-4 Cub Coupe
  • Piper J-5 Cub Cruiser
  • Piper PA-6 Sky Sedan
  • Piper PA-7 Sky Coupe
  • Piper PA-8 Sky Cycle
  • Piper PA-11 Cub Special
  • Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser
  • Piper PA-14 Family Cruiser
  • Piper PA-15 Vagabond
  • Piper PA-16 Clipper
  • Piper PA-17 Vagabond
  • Piper PA-18 Super Cub
  • Piper PA-20 Pacer
  • Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer
  • Piper PA-23 Apache/Aztec
  • Piper PA-24 Comanche
  • Piper PA-25 Pawnee
  • Piper PA-27 Aztec
  • Piper PA-28 Cherokee series (including Warrior, Archer, Arrow, Dakota)
  • Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche
  • Piper PA-31 Navajo series (including Chieftain, Mojave, Cheyenne)
  • Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six/Saratoga series
  • Piper PA-34 Seneca
  • Piper PA-36 Pawnee Brave
  • Piper PA-38 Tomahawk
  • Piper PA-39 Twin Comanche C/R
  • Piper PA-40 Arapaho
  • Piper PA-42 Cheyenne III/IV/400LS/400
  • Piper PA-44 Seminole
  • Piper PA-46 Malibu/Mirage/Meridian series
  • Piper PA-47 PiperJet/Altaire
  • Piper PA-48 Enforcer
  • Piper PA-60 Aerostar
  • Piper PA-61 Aerostar
  • Piper L-4 Grasshopper (military version of the J-3 Cub)

Piper Aircraft prioritizes safety and efficiency in their aircraft production process. They consistently innovate to meet the aviation industry’s evolving demands.

In comparison with their competitors like Cessna, Piper Aircraft often targets a broader variety of users with their diverse lineup.

Types of Aircraft Produced

Piper Aircraft has a long and rich history of producing a wide variety of aircraft since its inception in 1927. So far, the company has manufactured 160 different certified models, with about 144,000 aircraft produced and approximately 90,000 still in use today.

One of the most popular models produced by Piper is the PA-28 Cherokee. This reliable and versatile aircraft has been a favorite among general aviation pilots for decades. The PA-28 series includes different variations like the Archer, Arrow, and Warrior, each tailored for specific mission and performance requirements.

Another noteworthy aircraft by Piper is the PA-31 Navajo, a twin-engine business aircraft introduced in the 1960s.

Designed for corporate travel, charter flights, and regional airline operations, the PA-31 quickly gained popularity and spawned several successful derivatives, such as the Chieftain and Mojave.

Piper’s lineup of business aircraft also includes the M-series, comprising the M350, M500, and M600 models. These aircraft are known for their performance, efficiency, and advanced avionics, making them a top choice for business and personal travel.

While the pricing of Piper Aircraft varies significantly based on the specific model and its features, you can find new and used examples on

Types of Piper Aircraft

Different Piper Aircraft Types

Piper Aircraft, Inc. has an extensive portfolio spanning over decades, comprising various types of aircraft:

  1. Trainers: Piper’s trainer line, such as the PA-28 Cherokee, serves as an industry standard for flight schools globally.
  2. Personal Use: Aircraft like the Piper Cub and its variants, including the Super Cub, offer simplicity and functionality for hobbyist pilots.
  3. Business Aircraft: The PA-31 Navajo series and the Piper Cheyenne turboprop illustrate Piper’s commitment to the business aviation sector.
  4. High-Performance Single-Engines: Models like the Piper Malibu series represent the luxury end of Piper’s product range, with turbocharging, pressurization, and advanced avionics.
  5. Twin-Engines: Piper’s line of light twin-engine aircraft, such as the Piper Seminole and Seneca, offer increased speed, capacity, and redundancy.
  6. Experimental: The PiperJet, while ultimately not reaching production, showcased Piper’s innovative spirit and willingness to experiment in jet aircraft design.

Comparison with Other Manufacturers

When comparing Piper Aircraft with other manufacturers in the general aviation industry, let’s consider cost differences, factors influencing these costs, and the trade-offs involved.

Cost Comparison

In the case of Piper Aircraft and Cessna, their prices are typically quite similar. For example, the new Piper Cherokee has a price of $500,000, while the Cessna 182 is slightly more expensive at $515,000.

Factors Influencing Cost Differences

Several factors can influence the cost of aircraft from Piper and other manufacturers such as Cessna:

  • Design and features: Piper is known for producing low wing aircraft, providing better visibility during turns. In contrast, most Cessna aircraft are high-wing, which can offer better visibility when cruising.
  • Competition: As two of the “Big Three” general aviation manufacturers (along with Beechcraft), Piper and Cessna compete closely in both primary and secondary markets, which can play a role in their pricing strategies.
  • Availability: The supply and demand for specific aircraft models may affect their respective prices in the market. For example, certain popular models like the Piper PA-18 may have a higher demand, leading to a price increase.

Buying Process for Piper Aircraft

Process and Requirements for Individual Purchase

There is a massive range of various models available in the market, both new and used. For example, a new Piper Cherokee costs between $260,000 to $280,000, while a used model can cost around $20,000 to $22,000.

To purchase a Piper aircraft, follow these steps:

  1. Research: Determine the model that best suits your needs and budget.
  2. Inspect: Visit a reputable dealer or online listings to find the right aircraft for you.
  3. Financing: Arrange for financing through a bank, credit union, or specialized aviation lender.
  4. Documentation: Complete all necessary paperwork, such as bill of sale, registration, and proof of insurance.
  5. Closing: Pay the agreed-upon price and finalize the transaction.

Note: You should consider consulting with an aviation attorney, especially if we’re talking about a large sum of money.

Operating Costs

Breakdown of Operating Costs

Piper aircraft operating costs can vary depending on the specific model, usage, and other factors. The most significant expenses include fuel, maintenance, engine overhauls, insurance, and hangar or tie-down fees.

  • Fuel: A major cost is fuel consumption. For example, the Piper M350 burns about 27 gallons per hour at a cost of approximately $6.75 per gallon. This translates to roughly $182.25 per hour in fuel expenses.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance inspections are crucial to ensure the aircraft’s safety and functionality. These inspections can vary in cost based on the aircraft model and specific requirements.
  • Engine Overhauls: Over time, the aircraft engine will need to be overhauled to maintain optimal performance. The cost of engine overhauls will depend on the type of engine and any additional work required.
  • Insurance: Insurance fees will depend on various factors such as the pilot’s experience, the aircraft’s value, and other risk assessments.
  • Hangar or Tie-Down Fees: Storing the aircraft in a hangar or paying for a tie-down spot at the airport is an additional cost that varies depending on location and availability.

Based on an example for the Piper M350, the total variable costs per year (assuming 450 annual owner-operated hours), including fuel and maintenance, come to approximately $121,500.

Return on Investment for Buyers

When considering purchasing a Piper aircraft, it’s essential to evaluate the return on investment (ROI). Factors such as the aircraft’s resale value and the potential savings gained from owning versus renting should be taken into account.

For instance, the price of a pre-owned Piper M350 averages around $1,354,800. Comparing the cost of owning one against the typical renting expenses can provide valuable insight into whether buying a Piper aircraft is a financially sound choice.

Remember, additional costs like research, fuel capacity upgrades, and other expenses may pop up during the ownership period. However, a well-maintained Piper aircraft may still offer a favorable return on investment based on its performance, quality, and resale value.

Final Thoughts

When shopping for a Piper aircraft, it’s key to explore all options and grasp the price spectrum to match your budget. Ownership extends beyond the buy-in cost, encompassing ongoing expenses such as fuel and engine maintenance.

Assess the trade-off between an aircraft’s cost and its performance, durability, and resale potential. A thorough review of models helps secure a Piper aircraft that aligns with your requirements and financial plan.